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30 Years of Tomorrow

For three decades, Next Wave has shaped the Australian arts landscape through imagination, bold ideas and a passion for the new.

Established in 1984 to foster creativity and experimentation, Next Wave’s focus has always been on the next generation of artists in a changing world. Career development, presentation opportunity and multi-disciplinary representation have been integral since our inception.

Initially, Next Wave responded to a global emphasis on youth with an extensive secondary and tertiary schools program that was focused on large-scale participation. In following years the program acknowledged the growing use of technology in art, coinciding with the Australia Council for the Arts’ New Media policy. Next Wave offered early career opportunities to many influential contemporary visual artists and curators, and our flagship art development program Kickstart introduced a new model to develop artistic practice and sustain careers, advocating the importance of time, networks and money in the artistic process.

In our most recent decade, a succession of influential Artistic Directors has seen Next Wave confirm its place as critical to Australian contemporary art. Our dedication to artistic development has expanded to include Text Camp, the Emerging Curators Program and JUMP Mentoring with the Australia Council. Over the last eight years our international conversation has grown. We’ve pushed art under freeways, into nightclubs, in the Mission to Seafarers, private homes, sports clubs, on wheat silos and through city streets. We continue to challenge what art can be, where it takes place, and who will be watching.

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